Everything they had labored 3-1/2 years for was stripped away by a rugged cross just two weeks earlier. Destitute and near defeat, Peter’s mind momentarily took him away from his calling to a previous, familiar vocation. “I go a fishing.” When one is losing faith, they begin to revert back into the comfort of familiarity… the way things used to be. It seemed like a good idea to his friends, and under the cover of night they made their way to launch a fishing vessel from the shore of Tiberias. All through the night they’d been casting and drawing, and their only reward was empty nets full of deepened disappointment. Seven weary and discouraged disciples wafted on the waves of their old life when Jesus appeared to them armed with a question and a command.
The question: “Friends, have you caught any fish?”
To skilled fishermen who had exhausted the wisdom of their craft with no results, this must have stung like vinegar in a freshly opened wound.
Nevertheless, the question caused them to consider their scenario. Fishermen catch fish, yet they had none. Fishermen don’t give up until they catch fish, yet they were giving up. Were they even fishermen anymore at all?
The command: “Throw your net out on the side of the boat, and you’ll find some.” In other words, “No matter what you feel about what you’ve done this far… Do it again.”
The least desirable instruction after having cast in every imaginable place was to, “cast again.” Would it not yield the same results? Is not the definition of insanity something like “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”? Are not empty nets the sign of failure?
How many times had they cast already? How many casts would it take to bring success? When would “the next cast” be the cast that changed everything?
At some point of the Lord’s choosing, it became time to turn failure into faith… drought into deluge… pessimism into promise. A net-breaking, boat-sinking revival became the reaping to the sowing.
And it all happened…
Because fishermen decided…
To cast again.
If you’re at the point of giving up and feeling like a failure, I challenge you to cast in the net instead of throwing in the towel.
Fishermen catch fish.